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Bible Commentaries

Dr. Constable's Expository Notes

2 Chronicles 6

Verses 1-11

2. Solomon’s address 6:1-11

Solomon repeated some of the promises in the Davidic Covenant publicly. His completion of the temple fulfilled part of what God had promised. Complete fulfillment required Solomon’s continued faithfulness to God (1 Chronicles 28:9). Unfortunately, Solomon was not completely faithful, so some of those promises remained unfulfilled. Another Son of David would fulfill them later.

God had previously dwelt in the thick cloud on Mount Sinai (Exodus 20:21), as well as among His people in the wilderness (Exodus 40:34-35). This cloud again represented God’s presence among His people (cf. 2 Samuel 22:7-18; Psalms 97:2; et al.).

God’s choice of Jerusalem as His place of dwelling, and David as His vice-regent (2 Chronicles 6:6), would have encouraged the returned exiles. They were back in Jerusalem, and the descendants of David lived among them. God had commended David’s desire to glorify Himself (2 Chronicles 6:8), another incentive for Solomon’s hearers, for the restoration community, and for us.

Verses 12-42

3. Solomon’s prayer 6:12-42

In his prayer, Solomon explained the significance of God coming to indwell His temple. God had come to empower, to have fellowship, and to judge, if necessary. God was present among His people, and He would hear their prayers when they obediently called out to Him.

Solomon acknowledged that God had fulfilled some of the promises of the Davidic Covenant already (2 Chronicles 6:15), but he also saw that there were others yet unfulfilled. He called on God to grant them (2 Chronicles 6:16). Solomon’s view of God was that He was both transcendent and immanent (2 Chronicles 6:18). Even though God is everywhere at once, He can and does localize (not limit) His presence as well (e.g., the incarnate Christ, cf. John 2:20-21). At this period in history He localized His presence in the temple. Nevertheless, in heaven, He would hear the prayers of His people, wherever they might be when they called out to Him (2 Chronicles 6:38-39).

Solomon specified seven specific situations in which he asked the Lord to intervene in answer to prayer. These were when the people swore an oath in the temple (2 Chronicles 6:22-23), suffered defeat and exile from an enemy (2 Chronicles 6:24-25), and lacked rain (2 Chronicles 6:26-27). They were also when they experienced disease or other disasters (2 Chronicles 6:28-31), and when foreigners would come to pray toward the temple (2 Chronicles 6:32-33). The final two situations were when Israel was at war (2 Chronicles 6:34-35), and when Israel was in captivity due to sin (2 Chronicles 6:36-39).

This prayer is similar in its structure to Abraham’s prayer recorded in Genesis 18:22-33. It also recalls Elijah’s prayer on Mount Carmel in that God responded to both of these prayers with fire from heaven (2 Chronicles 7:1; cf. 1 Kings 18:38-39).

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Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 6". "Dr. Constable's Expository Notes". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcc/2-chronicles-6.html. 2012.